Younger Clergy for the UMC

The United Methodist Church is on a push (dare I say crusade?) to recruit/attract younger clergy. Here is a chart, from umcyoungclergy.com, showing the decline in numbers of clergy under 35 in the UMC:

I jshttp://www.umcyoungclergy.com/blogs.htmut discovered this website today.  I’m not altogether sure that this is the problem to address: I don’t think the United Methodist Church is attracting young church members at a particularly impressive rate either. Perhaps drawing young clergy and expecting thereby to attract younger members is getting the cart before the horse.

This is not to say there aren’t problems.  Young people comment on the site that our ordination process is too long and complicated.  My wife just completed the ordination process this year – and I’ll vouch for the denseness of the process.

Here’s the thing, though, that I’d like to point out.  I took a brief spin around umcyoungclergy.com and selected the youtube link.  There, one finds a video of the “General Conference 2008 Opening Worship” with a FIFTY SECOND intro!

I’m pretty sure young people don’t want to watch a 50 second introduction to a four minute video.

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2 thoughts on “Younger Clergy for the UMC

  1. You know I have been kind of thinking about this issue, I am not as concerned with having a young clergy member in the pulpit at my church as I am a good and effective clergy person. I think that we are at a point where singling out age groups of our church to rebuild should not be a priority, but focusing on all age groups.

    I do believe that the candidacy process is a little lengthy, but as a 16 year old who believes I am called to ministry I believe in my church enough to not worry about how long it takes me to become ordained.

  2. So I noticed the chart is for “Number of UMC Elders under the age of 35.”. I wonder how many young people, such as myself and Rachel (I believe), are choosing ordination as a Deacon instead of Elder. And I also have to wonder why that “doesn’t count”?

    @Ethan: Good point, effectiveness is what we need from a pastor, but what happens when all the effective ones die. We have to focus on recruiting young pastors, to fill those pulpits… If not now then in 20 years.

    And as a 26 year old who feels called into ministry… I totally wish the process were less lenghty, confusing, time consuming, filled with paperwork and hoops to be jumped through.

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